Why I Hate Clowns (and you should too)

January 23, 2012 — 7 Comments

I hate clowns.  Perhaps you should too.

This weekend Brooke and I will go on our annual pilgrimage with the kids downtown Nashville to see The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Yes, this is our third year of the madness. The kids absolutely love the animals and acrobats making death-defying flips in the air.  But every year we see those ridiculous clowns. We break out in a cold sweat when they approach us. I try to avoid hating anything but for some reason I am haunted by these crazies. For crying out loud there is a dedicated website dedicated to “clown hatred.”  It explains the rationale about clowns (my emphasis added):

They scare little kids (mine), they cause neurosis in some adults (me), they have big floppy feet (I have big feet, are they making fun of me?), they try to fit too many of their kind in a car, I could go on and on.

It was the movie Poltergeist (1982) that ruined me.  The scene where the clown disappears from the chair across from the boy and then attacks him is a recurring nightmare. I think after I saw that movie, I threw every stuffed animal clown I had in the house and quickly gave up watching Bozo the Clown.  Then Stephen King had to rub it in my face with the book/movie, IT.  Good grief.

I simply hate clowns. Sorry, it’s personal. There was a period of time as a kid when I was playing with my G.I. Joes and I would find unique ways to kill my stuffed animal clowns. I am sure some of them are nice and do some good things like attempt to cheer up children in hospitals. But I don’t buy it.

Truth is, I am a clown. I wear the mask of a clown too often. I make all sorts of facial expressions to make you think better of me. I try to entertain and show a lot of color but ultimately look just like every other clown out there. I hide behind the makeup. I try to be someone or something else.

The beautiful yet creepy song “John Wayne Gacy” written by Sufjan Stevens has a haunting line that always makes the hair on my arms stand up.  The notorious Chicago area serial killer John Wayne Gacy often dressed up as a clown to lure his victims. Sufjan saw something deeper at heart and expressed it in this line,

And in my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floor boards
For the secrets I have hid

So I may not be a serial killer but what do I hide? As a culture, I think we spend a lot of time and energy analyzing the sin of everyone else. I am incredibly guilty of that.  The song is a reminder that this mask I put on each day represents the sin of my life. Until I take off this mask and makeup, I cannot truly be the person God wants me to be. I am just a floppy-shoed fraud until then.

I take splice in 1 Samuel 16:7

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I pray every day for an honest heart that shows compassion, love and the ‘real’ me God wants in this world.  May you as well. 

What about you?  Any clown stories you need to get off your chest?  

7 responses to Why I Hate Clowns (and you should too)


    Wow, I did not see that coming, but you did it. I too hate em. The clown is the ultimate poser. I am working on the “calling talk” I have given at our men’s bootcamp the last three years (we have been doing them for about 7 but I have taken that one just recently). This April I plan to use a series of Don Draper scenes from Mad Men. He is the ultimate clown/poser, hiding his pain and fear behind a well crafted and dangerous facade. Here is to us living from a true self.


      Oh man I cannot wait to read your posts on Don Draper. He is worshiped by too many but his complexity is what we all can relate to in this world.
      As for Clowns…they should be our punching bags. Unite!


    Dave . . .

    Well said. Thank you.

    Your headline caught my attention because a couple in Spring Hill — Scott and Amelia Moore — are making a film about a clown who helps kids living on the streets of Guatemala City. They made a wonderful film about a friend of mine who ministers to people living in LaLimonada, the worst slum in Guatemala City. So in this case “Becoming Fools” is a good thing. See http://BecomingFools.com/. You really will love it.



      I love it, Larry. I hope you pick up on the fact that clowns used in the wrong way can be quite disturbing. That is why there are awesome groups like what you described.

      Appreciate you, Larry! Lunch soon.


    OMG!!!!!!!! I AGREE BEYOND BELIEF CLOWNS SCARE THE BEE-JESUS OUT OF ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The very famous show Supernatural had a episode on clowns and ugh just never invite them home!


    THOSE Things that You mentioned , ( Bozo , Ronald McDonald , & Pennywise ) All are NOT Real Trained Clowns … Bozo was a franchise … and normally one of the news people from that station got picked to ( PLay ) Bozo . every state had there own Bozo . W Ronald Mc its who ever fits the Stupid Ronald Mc Suit at each Store … then they send that person to a class in N.Y. to learn make-up and a magic show . Taught By the Ronald who does the Commercials …. . And Pennywise is NOT a Clown . He is an Actor Playing an Alain who is suppose to be able to make himself look like a clown ….. Duh .. Now these are actual Clowns . Robin Williams, Carol Burnett, Red Skelton, Harvey Korman , Tim Comway,Ben Stiller, Mickey Rooney, and Dick Van Dyke (to whom was given an official Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey CLOWN COLLEGE Graduation Certificate ) These People are All CLOWNS , I Should Know Because I Am a Retired Ringling Brothers Circus Clown Myself . And Do You People even Know Who Lou Lacobs was , ( the ONLY American Circus Clown to Be on a U.S. Postage Stamp ) and one of the Men Who trained ME !!!

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